Positive outlook for Derry buyers

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The latest mortgage lending figures reported by Northern Bank’s Shipquay Place branch in Derry is set to offer hope to potential mortgage customers in the area amid ongoing claims that the mortgage market has come to a standstill in Northern Ireland.

The figures show that Northern Bank’s Shipquay Place branch invested heavily in local mortgage customers in 2010, allocating over £3.5m of mortgage funding to customers in the area seeking to build, buy or move home - including customers switching their mortgage to Northern Bank from another financial institution, first time buyer mortgages and a number of 100 per cent mortgages. According to Northern Bank Branch Manager Sylvia Patton, this trend is set to continue in 2011 and the branch has already allocated over £1m of mortgages this year.

She said: “Northern Bank has always provided competitive mortgages and we are reminding people that we are very much open for mortgage business. Last year’s figures demonstrate our strong commitment to people in the area who are seeking to buy for the first time, move house or even build, and this commitment is ongoing.

“We have extensive knowledge of the housing market in the North West area and this ensures that we understand the needs and expectations of our customers, and we are constantly developing our mortgage product offering with attractive incentives. For example, If you are borrowing more than £30,000, we have great switcher incentives with a contribution towards legal and valuation fees, and have recently introduced a new campaign which means that any customer who switches their residential mortgage to Northern Bank from another financial institution, or is buying their first home, will not pay any arrangement or booking fees, a saving of £799.”

Ms Patton also outlined how Northern Bank is assisting first time buyers: “We’re also helping first time buyers get a foot on the property ladder. First time buyers, borrowing more than £40,000, will also be able to take advantage of special incentives such as contribution towards legal and valuation fees. We’re the only local bank still offering a 100 per cent mortgage – although as a responsible lender we only recommend this mortgage if it’s affordable and we provide other alternatives if it’s not.”

One couple who recently switched from another financial institution to secure their mortgage with the Shipquay branch said the process was quick and painless: “We were moving from Fahan in Co Donegal into the City of Derry and shopped around for the best mortgage deal. After an appointment with the mortgage consultant in the Shipquay Northern Bank branch, we submitted an application for a switcher mortgage and this was approved later that month.

“The process was very straightforward and we were able to remain in contact with the mortgage consultant throughout the whole process by phone and email.”